Running outdoors is a daily routine for many Americans.
It can serve as exercise, therapy or simply as just a hobby.
While there are many positive benefits of jogging outdoors, the activity can also pose dangers.
Here are 8 tips for staying safe, according to Scott Abbott, Executive Director of the Sacramento Running Association.
- Don't jog alone. Take a friend or your dog.
- If you have to jog alone, bring a cell phone. Having a phone can help you if you get lost or if you need to call for help.
- Download apps on your phone to use while on your run such as bSafe, which allows friends to track you or see if you've made it to a destination.
- Avoid using headphones and be aware of your surroundings. If you must use headphones, consider using only one ear bud and turning the volume low.
- Alert someone you're going on a run. Let them know where you're going and what route you'll be taking so they know when to expect you back.
- Pay attention to what you're wearing. Try to wear reflective clothing to stand out. Wearing tight fitting clothing also makes it harder for another person to get a hold of you. Consider wearing a road ID bracelet in case of an emergency.
- Change up your running route. Altering a route and changing your running times can help keep another person from learning where you'll be and at what time they can find you.
- Be prepared to fight back. If you own pepper spray, learn how to use it. Be mentally and physically prepared to put up a fight if necessary.
"Sacramento has so many beautiful places and nice weather," Abbott said. "There's lot of different places to run at different times."
The recent case of a Redding mom found alive after being kidnapped while on a jog may cause some people to be alarmed but Abbott said, an event like that shouldn't drive people into fear although it definitely highlights precautions should be taken while running outdoors.